A friend of a friend was just diagnosed with leukemia, so my friend is reaching out to her network to see if people would be willing to get their bone marrow tested to see if it's a match. What would be involved in the testing process? Is it very painful? If it's a match, what would the actual transplant entail?
The Be The Match website (http://marrow.org) website is a great resource and will give you all the information you need about what is involved with registering to be a donor. It's simple to do so on-line or to find a Registry event near you. Registering typically involves just a swab from the inside of your cheek.
If it turns out that you are a match for a patient in need of a transplant, further testing will be necessary. You would be evaluated by a physician to ensure that the transplant donation process would be safe for you and for the patient requiring your stem cells. Your stem cells can be collected either from your bone marrow (through a bone marrow harvest, a surgical procedure) or from your blood (a peripheral blood stem cell collection, a non-surgical procedure). Depending on whether a bone marrow harvest or a peripheral blood stem cell collection is done, you may have some amount of pain/discomfort. This would not last long and most donors recover and are back to their normal routine within a few days to a week.
Thanks for your consideration and generosity in becoming a donor! Our patients appreciate it!
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